Let me explain by telling you a quick story…
I came home from work after a stressful day and sat at my kitchen table.
Mentally I was creating a list of things that I wanted to get done that day.
I was trying to craft the perfect order of events to prevent ANY wasted time. Even though I was just sitting there, I was mentally darting around my house in all the rooms that needed attention. I looked up at the clock… It had been TEN minutes of me just sitting there doing NOTHING.
Still, I had NO idea of where to begin. I started feeling overwhelmed.
With this feeling came a sensation that I was stuck at the kitchen table with 100 pound weights on my ankles. I couldn’t get up… and just BEGIN… anything!
That’s when I knew that I needed a therapist.
I have been working as a Medical Technologist (Med Tech) for 8 years now. After about 3-4 years I started noticing symptoms of anxiety when I would try to unwind at home.
In essence my day at work uses up most of brain power for “workflow”.
I have a million things that need to get done.
They all take different lengths of time.
And to be GOOD at my job I need to put all these tasks into a perfect order so that the first can be processing while the next is being set up and so on.
Now please add a layer to this scene… imagine that I get interrupted on average every 7 to 10 minutes.
This might not seem like very much to you… but when you are busy- 7 minutes goes by REALLY fast!
And in order to remember to go back and complete a task that is 4 or 5 tasks back in the sequence….
I set a timer… for EVERYTHING… because my brain cannot remember ALL of the tasks it has started and must complete in a timely manner.
After almost 8 years of working in a lab… perfecting my workflow…
I found out that this type of an environment (constant interruption) is by definition stress inducing to the brain.
It is…comical that it took me 8 years to realize that there is a correlation to the rise in my anxiety and the number of years I have worked in this environment!
You may read this and think… this sounds exactly like parenthood. Instead of timers you have blowouts, or squabbles to break up, or phone calls from the school, or broken glass on the floor… the list could go on.
And all the while you are trying to finish fixing a meal.
Well, I am glad that I am aware of the cause and I have been researching how to cope and calm my mind after a day of work. Still a work in progress.
I want to share some resources that have really opened my eyes to what is really going on in my brain.
I also recommend talking to a therapist and getting an unbiased perspective on the situation.
Here are three books that have been SO AWESOME for me! I think they would really help you too.
As I read them and learn new tools– I have thought– THIS is what I want to teach my kids. I want them to have these skills to face life. So, good stuff.
- Feeling Good and When Panic Attacks by David Burns
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
But if you are not motivated to read a book for yourself then the accountability to a professional is priceless.
Finding a therapist is like dating. You have to try 2 or 3 sessions with multiple therapists before you find the right one for you. These sessions are pretty expensive compared to dating but you may be able to have therapy sessions covered by your health insurance!